It’s been two weeks since my last report and while UK basks in the hottest summer for years we in Florida have high temps but so much rain. This means that we are treated daily to wonderful lightning displays.
At work we are in the final weeks with Mgr Mike Muhr as our pastor. He took some vacation days so we don’t expect to see much of him during even his final week. Instead we were delighted to welcome our Pastor designate who visited for a few days before taking a vacation himself. When he formally arrives on 15 August he will hit the ground running so he is probably spending most time sorting things in his rectory and office.
On Wednesday August 1 I made an early morning trip to the Tax Office to renew my driving licence. I have had to do this every year since I’ve been here but this year since I have a Green Card now I was in and out in an hour with a licence which does not need to be renewed for eight years.
The following weekend was notable for the Sunday 7pm Mass. An experienced cantor was on vacation so a singer who joined us only a couple of weeks ago served as cantor. In addition we had a new guitarist and another new singer.
On Monday 6 August I awoke with some trepidation as my ‘day off’ was being given up for the parish staff retreat. These have normally been terrible wastes of time with silly games purporting to be aimed at team building. I recognised our speaker instantly as a parishioner. Dr Carmen had recently retired from being a school principal. She has also written several books on spirituality. Her contribution was well prepared and thought-provoking. We ended the day with Mass in the Bethany Center Chapel. I had planned the music but it was great to be joined by two colleagues when it came to the music making.
As soon as the retreat was over I sped off to the office to do final preparations for the evening rehearsal for our bilingual celebration of the patronal feast of St Lawrence. The rehearsal went very well and I let the combined Hispanic and English choirs go early!
On Tuesday 7 August I welcomed to the house 4 workers who would fell 5 trees on my property. I am no tree-hugger but I am usually reluctant to remove trees. In this case one was losing limbs another had lost one through my roof during Irma and all were deemed by inspectors to be well past their maturity and were described as crap trees!. By the end of Day 1 all the trees in the back yard had had their branches removed. By sheer coincidence my neighbours opposite had also engaged a different company to trim the oak in their front yard. The street was like ‘tree-central’ for two hours! After a while I left for work on Tuesday and finished the day with a visit to the new Jesuit Chapel to give an organ lesson to a student who would be playing for the Dedication Mass later that evening. During Day 2 the remaining trunks and another tree in the front were removed and stumps ground. The grass in the back yard now looks as though it has been the site of a tank battle with treadmarks cutting where the grass used to be but it will recover, I’m sure. During Day 2 I spent the day at the beach as it was a very sunny day.
Today I will enjoy doing a bit of a tidy up in the back yard before giving two students their organ lessons at the new chapel of Jesuit. After this I’ll venture into the office to do some final prep for a Spanish funeral tonight and the Mass for the start of another school year tomorrow.